As we continue our series of flash interviews on startups to watch in 2020, we speak to Paul Christensen, the co-founder and CEO of Previse.
Hi Paul. Could you tell me a little bit about Previse?
Previse gets suppliers paid, instantly. It uses machine learning to detect the very few invoices that are unlikely to get paid so that we can pay the rest instantly.
Previse works with large corporate buyers to help them pay their suppliers of all sizes instantly, as soon as an invoice is received. It uses machine learning which has analysed over £150bn of invoice spend stored in clients’ enterprise resource planning systems. This analysis enables our smart tech to ‘score’ invoices. The vast majority of invoices will meet the score threshold and be paid by a third-party funder, while the rest will be paid on their normal terms.
Responsible companies want to be able to pay their suppliers within a reasonable amount of time, but the sheer volume of invoices and process required makes this practically impossible. So, it is a perfect opportunity for machine learning.
Previse’s automation speeds this process up significantly, while our funding partners allow invoices to be paid instantly without impacting buyers’ cashflow, allowing companies to get suppliers paid faster without disruption.
How is Previse creating solutions to industry challenges?
Previse offers a completely unique solution to tackle one of businesses’ most persistent challenges.
The majority of SME suppliers simply don’t have an economical way to get paid faster.
Traditional Supply Chain Finance (SCF) programmes only cover the largest 1% of suppliers, leaving the other 99% vulnerable to slow payments. Smaller businesses are ruled out by heavy onboarding costs. Previse’s onboarding process is easy for both suppliers and buyers, meaning that is offers a viable option for businesses of all sizes.
Previse’s predictive algorithms do not need to wait for invoice approval before paying the buyer as the ‘score’ given serves this function, reducing payment times by weeks or sometimes months.
This is a win-win for buyers and suppliers as suppliers get paid instantly without negatively impacting buyers’ cash-flow.
What was your last major milestone?
In October, Mastercard selected Previse to join its StartPath programme – Mastercard’s fintech incubator. This six-month programme will allow Previse to further develop its technology and will connect it with the global support base of Mastercard’s ecosystem.
Previse’s place on the programme is part of the company’s rapid growth since its inception in 2017 and will increase access to its offering for a wide portfolio of banks and merchants.
Whats the plan for Previse in 2020?
In 2020, we’re continuing to roll out Instant Pay to more buyers and getting more of our current customers’ suppliers on board.
Slow payments are a global challenge and, as the only provider of instant invoice payments currently in the market, there is a big opportunity for us to grow fast and grow globally. Ultimately, our goal is to make the slow payment of invoices a thing of the past and the whole company is completely focused around how to make that happen as quickly as possible.
About Paul Christensen
Paul Christensen is the co-founder and CEO of Previse. He is an experienced fintech entrepreneur. He was previously Managing Director and Global Co-head of Goldman Sachs' Principal Strategic Investments team. He has been responsible for conceiving and executing a series of the industry's leading fintech ventures. Paul was recently appointed to Innovate Finance and City of London Corporation’s FinTech Strategy Group which aims to drive the success of the world-leading UK fintech sector.
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